Logic Studio released

I'm REALLY considering going to Logic 8.  Spent some time with it yesterday at the Apple Store in Schuamburg.  Looks pretty amazing, maybe TOO much!!

Hows the learning curve on this baby?
I hear it's a huge step up from 7.

Hey guys, I want to take the opportunity to give you some insight into Logic for this application.

    I am thrilled with how well Logic works for writing for drumline using Virtual Drumline 2. I use it for everything, notation included. I don't use Finale or Sibelius any more. Logic DOES have a full fledged drum mapping setup like Sibelius and Finale to map all the battery (and any drum setup) to specific lines and spaces. I find the Logic maps WAY easier to work with than Sibelius 4 (Haven't seen Sibelius 5.) I use Logic for scoring for winds as well.

Some advantages to Logic Pro:

1. You can do all of your sound mixing/mastering and notation all in one program and mix while you write to the nth degree. Finale and Sibelius can't even begin to touch all of the automation and other mixing features built into Logic.
2. Flams - you can completely control the grace note sound in a much more user controlled way than Finale and Sibelius
3. ";Dynamic Parts"; - This new feature that Sibelius touted and Finale now has something similar - Logic has been doing this for over 10 years but their implementation is still way beyond what Finale and Sibelius can do. For example, in my template, I have a score set up for Full Percussion Ensemble, Front Ensemble Only, Battery Only, Marimbas Only, Vibes Only, etc etc. Then, also the individual parts. You can create an infinite number of Scores and Parts based on your full score. If you want to print out a part of Battery and drumset so your drumset player can see how his parts fit with the battery, you can easily do so in the same file without having to create a seperate file and delete the tracks you don't want. Any combination you can imagine. I also find that there is little to no adjustment that is needed to clean up the parts before printing them. Of course, any change you make in any one of the scores you create is changed in all the scores.
4. Audio Tracks - you can have as many audio tracks as your computer can handle. So the new features for Finale/Sibelius that allow you to drop in an audio track pale in comparison. One project I just finished, I used 4 audio tracks for 4 different synths for some .wav sounds the group was to load into their synths as well as 2 voice over narration audio tracks. (6 total audio tracks). I could do infinitely more than that but that is all the project called for. This is of course all integrated completely with the score.
5. Notation to Sound - there are many, many advantages here. Let me give you a couple of examples: a) you can set an independent or double vertical roll (or any roll for that matter) to display whole notes but program the actual rhythmic hand motion for the roll to play back exactly the roll you want all on the same staff. The whole notes print in the score, the rolls do not. You can completely control the dynamics and rhythms independent of the notational display. If you want the roll hand speed to slow down, you can do it without putting in a ritard and without affecting the notation. Pretty much, if you can hear it, you can get it to play back the way you want and display the way you want all on the same staff. You are simply limited to the quality of the sample library you are using. If it has the sounds you need, you are good to go. VDL2 has been way beyond what most projects have called for. b) With battery, you can display any rolls you want and completely control the play back of flams, diddles etc. You have complete control over the lengths of notes etc. You can notate a whole note if you want and have it play back Flam 5s. hahahaha  I could go on forever with examples in this category.
6. Output of recordings - Since the Logic audio engine is so robust, the quality of recording that comes out of Logic is simply limited by your knowledge of Pro Audio whereas the output of sound from Sibelius and Finale are limited from a control stand point. You have very basic mixing capabilities in S + F but with Logic, you have every plugin imaginable as well as automation, EQ, compression, chorus, etc etc
7. You can do up to 16 different instruments per staff. For example, you can have a Vibe player play vibes for the first two bars, drumset for the next 3, snare drum for the next 5, oboe for the next 10 bars, and then play synth to the end. Each chunk of music can be set to a staff style that is specific for that instrument (maps included for drumset/battery) and they will all be displayed on one staff all in the same part in the score and when you print the parts. That is a brief overview of this feature. There is a lot more to it but it puts Sibelius and Finale to shame when it comes to instruments playing other instruments (like marimbas playing a marimba part and then switching to concert bass drum or sus cym etc etc.) No need to create a ";score"; file and a ";sound"; file. You do it all in one process and all in one program.


Some common misperceptions about Logic:

1. The learning curve is steep - no more steep than learning Finale. I used Finale from version 3.0 through version 2001. I became as fluent in Logic as I was with Finale in half the time. It is WAY more ";Logical"; than Finale. Now, compared to Sibelius, it pales in comparison in this category. When I switched from Finale to Sibelius, it was a very short learning curve. Sibeilus is every easy to use. However, Logic can do 15 times the things Sibelius can even with all the new features. It really depends on what you are wanting to do. With Logic, you decide what you want to do and then figure out how to get the program to do it because most likely it can whereas the notation based programs force you to do what they lay out for you to do. I have even programmed some of the same keyboard shortcuts as Sibelius. I started out using ALL the same but as I became more fluent with Logic, I realized how limiting the standard Sibelius keyboard shortcuts really are when you see how many things you can program for Logic. The keyboard shortcut area is daunting in and of itself when you realize that all of the sound side of the program can also have keyboard shortcuts.
2. The notation isn't very good - This is completely false. My entire company (Publications and Show Design) are all completely done using Logic with few exceptions. All of Bill Bachman's stuff was done in Logic. Logic can't do accelerando rolls from a notation stand point so we published a marimba piece by Dwayne Rice using Sibelius because it called for this ";special"; notation. I have found Logic VERY intuitive and completely robust on the notation side. A pro notation app most certainly.
      - For every notational feature people have brought up to me that Sibelius/Finale can do that Logic can't I have been able to come up with more than 30 times that number of things that Logic can do that those programs can't. No program is perfect. I don't argue that Logic IS. I've used all three extensively and to take a product from conception to final recording including notation, I have not been able to find a program that even comes close (including Digital Performer and Cubase.) You can even personally record your voice over narration within in the same program etc etc. The possibilities are endless. The more I learn about the program, the better my writing gets. I use new features on every project and I've been using it exclusively for over 3 years. And I still haven't scratched the surface of what it can do! For a good while, I was writing notation in Sibelius and using Reason to create all of my recordings. Well, whenever I made an edit, I found myself having to edit both files. The notation file AND the sound file. The resulting frustration is what led me to seek out a program like Logic. With Logic, since it is all in the same file, when you want to edit, you simply edit and the sound and notation are both edited.
3. You can't use it for drumline because it can't do maps - NOT TRUE at all. The mapped instrument and mapped score style feature is completely full featured and in many ways, better conceived than Sibelius for what percussion writers need.

Drawbacks to Logic:

1. At first, I didn't think the manuals helped me very much for the notation. Well, when I first started using it, I was trying to get it to do notation like Sibelius and Finale. It doesn't work that way. Finale and Sibelius have you input notation and the sound is generated from the notation. Logic is the opposite. You enter notes and get them to sound the way you want and the notation is derived from that midi data. As soon as I stopped trying to force the Sibelius way on Logic, I figured it out and it became VERY easy to use. It's just VERY different than anything you have probably used. Yes, you CAN enter notation directly into the score. I started out that way but I find it MUCH easier to enter the notes in the Piano Roll like you would in Reason or Garage Band. MUCH faster and I can immediately access the sound capabilities. The moment you enter a note in the piano roll, it appears in the score and vice versa. Complete control over velocities, sustain, etc etc. Once I stopped trying to make the program's ntoation be what I was used to, the manuals then made a lot of sense to me and became a big help.
2. It isn't set up out of the box to roll really well with notation. You have to configure it yourself. This is the most daunting part. However, I have developed a template that includes every possible instrument in the band and orchestra world. It took me over a year to develop it and I still tweak it weekly. Without something like this, you are at the mercy of your time and ability to figure out how to get Logic to do what we do. I had a blast figuring it out but I'm a geek who reads every manual for every software program from start to finish (I've read every word of the Logic 7 manuals 6 times now. I was about to start my 7th when they released Logic Studio.) I have no problems with sharing my template.

Anyway, in summary:

Logic does amazing things. I have yet to find anything other than a couple of ";special"; notation things that it can't do. I HAVE found thousands of things it can do that the other two can not. There are some quirks but EVERY program has quirks. The score doesn't get updated as fast as Sibelius and Finale. However, Logic was doing things 10 years ago that Finale and Sibelius are just now getting around to and still haven't caught up to. (dynamic parts, audio tracks, setup for switching instruments on the same staff etc). Logic used to be called Notator. It just caught on more as a sound production software so people ";assume"; it can't do both.

I write most of my shows to prewritten drill with my company. We lay out the whole show of drill, capture a quicktime video of the Pyware animation and then load that quicktime video into Logic. We then write the music straight to the video like a movie score. You can do it that way or the other way around or a combination of the two. There truly is no limit to what you can do. I have stopped avoiding writing certain things because Sibelius/Finale can't do it or the sound won't come out right. Now, I imagine what I want and figure out how to get Logic to do it. I haven't ran into anything I've wanted that it couldn't do. I've bought a lot of sound libraries because of it but it has been an absolute blast!

Jim, I would be more than happy to hook you up with my template so you can post it on the site. I just bought Logic Studio so I know there will be some necessary tweaks to accommodate the update, but after that, I know it will save some people some MAJOR headaches if they decide they want to go the Logic direction.

'Allen Joanis
Thanks for sharing your expertise Allen.

I know since my switch to an entirely Logic world I've been more productive than I ever thought I could be in playback [b]and[/b] notation.�� I've also found this to almost be a necessary step in the modern face of percussion composition--where sampled playback, recordings, and live audio play such a vital part in the performance.�� To realize the end-product while composing requires an approach like Logic's; otherwise you spend all of your time wrestling with a multi-layered workflow instead of just making things happen.��
Allen,

I couldn't agree with you more.  I too use Logic for composition and arranging and use a fairly extensive scoring template that I developed within the Environment.  My only criticism that I have about Logic's score editor is the lack of smart articulations and layout adjustment.  Sibelius (for me) and Finale both do the art of score design very well.  Fighting Logic while putting in slurs and articulations makes its use for me very tedious so I choose to export my MIDI file to Sibelius where it's a simple matter to add articulations and adjust the layout.  Don't misunderstand me though, I still will have a fully functional score wihin Logic that I can split parts and edit. Without question, Logic is my ";Bread & butter"; and Logic Studio has made my workflow even easier. 

-Ray
Allen - wow, what a great post! Thank you for taking the time to share some of your thoughts on Logic Studio and how it's helped your workflow. I think many people who are interested in this way of working would love to make use of the template you've created (myself personally!), so if you'd be so generous as to share it with other VDL users, we'd be happy to host it. When you feel you've got the Logic  Pro 8 template dialed in the way you like it, please do send it along and we can make it available on the Tapspace site. This could be the key toward people taking their first steps into the unfamiliar world of Logic. Thank you again for sharing!
I will certainly do so, Jim. I have just installed the upgrade so it will be a couple of weeks I am sure before I have the upgraded template. I will e-mail you the template for Logic 7 so you may host it in any way you see fit. It will ate least get anyone going that wants to while I upgrade the template. I'm really looking forward to digging in on the upgrade! Logic is my version of a video game. I get so enthralled I swear it's more like a video game than a music production suite! hahahaha

Using Logic for what we do certainly would not be possible in the battery world without VDL:2. Thank you for having the vision to create the VDL:2 library. You have had a positive impact on the compositional process for a great number of people. I am personally indebted to you for your vision.

'Allen Joanis
I'm really curious if anything became of the templates... I know everyone at Tapspace has been busy with the Sibelius 5 upgrades, but I was wondering if this outlet sprung the interest of anyone else! Peace and hope everyone has a great New Year!
Hey guys,

Sorry this one fell a bit off the radar. Allen did actually send me his template from Logic Pro 7, however due to the customized nature of his setup, as expected, there were several ";samples not found"; messages and while navigating those, the file would crash each time I tried to get through the launch stage. I intended to troubleshoot, but simply wasn't able to get the time to. I know Allen was going to be working on a version for Logic Pro 8, so perhaps we'll have more luck with that.
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